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UNICEF Belize and NEMO distribute Early Childhood Development Play Kits to flood-affected Communities

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Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2021. 6:54 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Today, UNICEF Belize handed over 200 Early Childhood Development Play Kits to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).

 The kits will be distributed to families affected by the flooding caused by Hurricane Iota and Eta in Calla Creek, Bullet Tree, Santa Familia and Billy White villages in Cayo.

 Guided by the vulnerabilities, UNICEF, in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in Belize developed a Protocol for the Integrated Protection of Children and Adolescents in Disaster Situations for the Caribbean, which was launched in January 2020.

UNICEF notes that the protocol guides national emergency responsible units into placing the needs of children and adolescents at the centre of emergency response strategies and programmes.

 In Belize, the development of the Protocol is one component of the partnership with UNICEF, the Belize Red Cross and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).

“To ensure that the Protocol addresses a multi-sectoral approach, it also addresses general protection risks faced by children and adolescents during emergency and disaster situations as well as protection risks by sectors – water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH), education, health, nutrition, gender, and disability,” UNICEF noted.

Under the framework of the Protocol and in line with UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children (CCCs), the families in Cayo, supported by this donation, would have support in the critical areas of WASH, ECD, and Nutrition with helpful messages/materials to support, particularly, women and children in these critical times.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Michel Chebat and Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Gilroy Usher attended the ceremony and pledged the commitment of their ministries in advancing early childhood development.

 Col. Shetlon Defour, NEMO Coordinator, expressed his appreciation for the multi-sectoral partnership that ultimately benefits families in critical times or emergencies.

Michel Guinand, Social Policy Specialist with UNICEF Belize, spoke of how investing in early childhood development translates to an important investment in the future of Belize.

Families receiving the kits will also participate in an educational session to learn how to use the content of the kits and the Care for Child Development Atlas to guide them in stimulating their children for early earning at home.

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